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Students Share Experience on the Use of Zoom App During Closure of Schools

Ghana’s efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic involved various mitigating measures by the
government which included the closure of educational institutions. This affected public and private
schools nationwide, from basic through second cycle schools to the tertiary educational institutions
from April 2, 2020.

Upon the directive, a number of educational institutions including the Christian Service University
College (CSUC) took to the exploration of online tuition to further academic work. The University
College adopted the use of Zoom application as a virtual platform to further teaching and learning
till the end of the semester and that has been fairly fruitful. The move was also alternated with the
use of other existing e-learning platforms of the University College, i.e. CSUC Moodle platform
to enhance teaching and learning.

In a bid to assess the application of such powerful technological tool for academic work in spite
of the prevalence of Covid-19, an interview was granted to obtain students’ feedback on the use
of the Zoom application for the Covid-19-stay-at-home-to-learn initiative. In an exclusive
response, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), President, Prince Agyemang Duah on
June 15, 2020 observed that the usage of the Zoom facility has been worthwhile but needs
further backing.

He narrated: “It’s indisputable that our lives have been dominated by technology, we depend on it 24/7,
and as a ‘techie’, one can only imagine how much e-learning is of importance to me. That being said,
the importance of using the e-learning infrastructure is barely appreciated in our part of the world.
Its usage became very difficult since no one anticipated the conditions that called for the need to adapt,
including both lecturers and students. The basic challenges to premise my claim includes but not limited
to; lack of requisite knowledge in its application to lecture, the platform does not appeal to all learning
styles, the system lacked control and network challenges. Moreover, the cost that comes with its usage
can never be overlooked, however, valuable.”

Re-opening of Schools in the Wake of Covid-19
On Sunday, 31st May, 2020, the ban on educational institutions was lifted with outlined protocols.
The President, in his 10th address eased the restriction for final year students to return to school
on June 15, 2020 to complete academic work, following gradual re-opening of schools for all cycles
at the end of the month. Notwithstanding the directive and its associated measures, most students
have voiced their displeasure about the full assurance of their safety, considering the increasing
rate of the spread of the disease.

Some students have observed that academic work has ended for them, with the aid of the Zoom app
and other e-learning platforms used during the closure-period by the University College. They referred
to an earlier notice that, CSUC has adopted a ‘take-home examination strategy’ to conduct its end of
2nd semester examinations for students and according to the President, Prof. Sam Afrane, the move
will still take its course.

In short, students feel reluctant to return to school, especially, knowing that the academic year
has ended and would prefer to continue to stay at home safely, and return to the classroom in the
next academic year with the hope of a total eradication of the Covid-19 disease. Meanwhile, at the
end of week-one of the return of final year tertiary students to school and day-one of the return of
final year SHS students to school, Ghana’s case count of the novel coronavirus stood at 14,154
with over 10,000 recoveries and 85 deaths.

 

Report by: Anastasia Cudjoe Erzuah, Institutional Advancement Office, CSUC

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